Could it be that both Kiev and Moscow are fighting the wrong wars? A crowdsourced simulation Wikistrat recently conducted about the future of Ukraine suggested they might be.
As this infographic shows, Ukraine would actually be better served by cutting away so-called “Novorosssiya” while the Kremlin ought to be working a lot harder to maintain the unity of Ukraine.
This counterintuitive-but-compelling finding emerged from a two-week crowdsourced simulation run by Wikistrat in February and March. Almost seventy analysts from a variety of fields and backgrounds brainstormed potential scenarios for how Ukraine could develop over the next five years. Some concentrated on big-picture issues: Will it be one country, or two or even three? Will it succumb to Russian pressure, or manage to find a place in the European community of nations? Others instead addressed granular points: Could the country’s agricultural or energy industries develop under the current circumstances? Is there a role for private military companies in the conflict?
Across the scenarios, analysts struggled to come up with a plausible solution that offers Ukraine much hope in the five-year timeframe so long as it holds on to the rebellious southeast. Even if it wins on the battlefield, Kiev may then lose the peace, burdened with a war-ravaged region that needs to be rebuilt, and an alienated local population to be reintegrated.
Perhaps Kiev ought to hope it doesn’t win the war at all? The freezing of the conflict would be a devastating blow to the identity of the “new” Ukraine, but it offers perverse advantages.
The rump Ukraine that remains could gain a new cohesion through the shared experience of struggle, while the West — eager to teach Moscow a lesson — would both require and support the often-painful processes of political and economic reform the country so desperately needs.
Russia, by contrast, already suffering a serious economic crisis unlikely to soon resolve itself, would be forced to continue to arm, guard, feed and support its puppet fiefdom. Its interests are actually better served by forcing the rebellious regions back into Ukraine, like a rusty nail to poison the country’s bloodstream. Read More →